Now that Mary and I have been back for two weeks (and broken up for three, though if you're reading this you probably know that already), we figured it was about time to start posting some photos from our often wild, frequently wonderful, indisputably momentous (see note above!) trip to New Zealand. So here's the first of several parts.
Our first stop was Christchurch, a charming little city we explored for a few days. Laid out by homesick Britons, the place looks like a slice out of England, what with punters working the river Avon in the middle of town, right next to the expansive botanical gardens.
Note the ginormous trees, including this eucalyptus.
Also note the ginormous throne room in the old government buildings. Mary made herself at h0me.
After Christchurch we headed to the nearby coastal town of Akaroa, a beautiful, verdant place that was the starting point for our first tramp, the Banks Peninsula Track. This two-day hike was our mutual favorite for the trip, passing through sheep paddies, spectacular coastal cliffs, and some remnants of native forest. It also featured some of the most incredible accommodation on the trip, including one night spent at a weird compound filled with random stuff like an adult-sized swing, an outdoor pool table and a shower with a tree growing right through the middle of it.
Waterfalls galore. There was one that sprayed out far enough from the rocks that you could actually walk behind it, which was a marvelously surreal experience.
Mary on the trail to our second night's lodging.
The way-cool pool table, which wasn't level and had a stick from a tree for a cue. But, I mean, it
was outside! Awesome.
One last shot from the Banks: Me hiking on the second day of the tramp.